2014-15 Countdown

Arizona Wildcats Best Play Elite Eight: Lyons’ winning shot against Florida vs. Elliott’s clutch 3-pointer against Duke

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BestPlayBracket15

BestPlayBracket14

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This bracket takes an overall look at the best play in Arizona Wildcats history. The best play will be determined through a vote of readers. In case of a tie-breaker, yours truly will make a determination:


Mark Lyons’ winning shot against Florida in 2012 must get by another Sean Elliott achievement — the All-American’s clutch three-pointer over Danny Ferry — in a classic Arizona-Duke game in 1989.

Lyons’ significant shot against the No. 5 Gators, one that served notice that Sean Miller’s program can compete with the elite on a consistent basis, got by Elliott’s free throw in 1989 that broke Lew Alcindor’s Pac-10 scoring record.

Elliott’s historic clutch shot against Ferry, on national television with the late Al Maguire providing the analysis, is the last entry in the Elite Eight of the Arizona Wildcats Best Play Bracket. The play narrowly topped Nick Johnson’s game-saving blocked shot against San Diego State in 2012 (51.9 percent of vote to 49.1).

You can vote on Lyons’ winning shot against Florida vs. Elliott’s clutch three-pointer against Duke with this poll:

For mobile devices, PLEASE CLICK HERE to access poll.

Mark Lyons

Mark Lyons

Why vote for Mark Lyons’ game-winning shot against Florida in 2012: Arizona trailed virtually the entire game, until the waning seconds, of its marquee game against No. 5 Florida at McKale Center. The Wildcats were in need of a point guard like Steve Kerr or Damon Stoudamire to take over. Nick Johnson, a sophomore, gave the ball to Lyons, a senior shooting guard-turned point guard after transferring from Xavier, with Arizona down 64-63. Lyons drove down the right side and made a running layup off the glass over the outstretched arms of 6-foot-9 Patric Young with 7.1 seconds remaining. Florida could not get a clean shot off and Arizona emerged victorious.

Sean Elliott

Sean Elliott

Why vote for Sean Elliott’s clutch three-pointer against Duke in 1989: The national TV game against Duke and Mike Krzyzewski did not faze Elliott, a senior, as he dribbled the ball up the court with one minute remaining and the game tied at 70. The crowd of 18,196 at The Meadowlands in New Jersey stood in anticipation of what Elliott might do next isolated against fellow All-American Danny Ferry of Duke. Elliott, only 5 of 20 shots at that point, pulled up for a three-point shot on top of the key, surprising Ferry, whose reaction to extend high toward Elliott’s release was too late. Elliott shot the ball at his zenith. It swished in to put Arizona ahead 73-70 with 53 seconds remaining. His two foul shots, in a one-and-one situation with 18 seconds left, gave the Wildcats the points that would make the difference in the 77-75 victory.

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Perfect gift for any Arizona or college hoops fan this holiday season: A complete rundown of the Arizona basketball program as we might not know it put together by longtime Tucson sportswriters Steve Rivera and Anthony Gimino. Please e-mail Rivera, Gimino or ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com for ordering details.

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POLLS STILL OPEN:


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For mobile devices, PLEASE CLICK HERE to access poll.

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CLICK ON BRACKET TO ACCESS BLOG TO VOTE:

GAME NINETEEN — ELITE EIGHT

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GAME TWENTY — ELITE EIGHT

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GAME TWENTY-ONE — ELITE EIGHT

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GAME TWENTY-TWO — ELITE EIGHT

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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